Maria Says: Dressing Room Is #1

All jokes about $19 meatloaf aside, I love The Dressing Room.

So does Maria Rodale.

I’m just a local blogger.  My restaurant territory is limited:  from Tiger Bowl (on the Southport line) to John’s Best (Norwalk border).

Maria, though, is a nationally known (I guess) foodie.  Her Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen blog is a place to share “yummy organic recipes, thought provoking ideas and issues, organic gardening tips and techniques, recommendations for everyday happy and healthy living, and visits from (my) friends.”

(Oh, yeah.  Her day job is “chairman and CEO of the largest independent publisher left in America.”)

Maria has just posted her 3rd annual “Top 10 Farm-to-Table Restaurants” list.  Her criteria is simple:  “locally sourced organic food, cleanly cooked; not too pretentious; and most important of all, delicious and yummiful!”

There, sitting at the top of the list — above Back Forty, New Leaf Cafe and Rouge Tomate in New York; above Prairie Fire in Chicago; above even the Inn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee and (of course) Weczeria in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — sits our humble little Dressing Room.

“Chef Michel Nischan and his lovely wife Laurie serve food grown from their own garden,” Maria writes.  She adds:

But most important, it’s comfort food cooked with love and passion.  I’ve been meaning to get here for years, and it turned out to be an easy on/off from the highway on the way up to Maine.  The salad is divine.  Corn bread with honey?!  YUM.   Ribs.  And the cold cucumber soup was amazing, too.  I highly recommend you find your way here.

Westporters (and those from much further away — like Maria) have been finding their way to the tucked-away-next-to-the-Playhouse Dressing Room ever since it opened.

If you haven’t been there, too bad.  Besides the $19 meatloaf, the menu includes artisan cheeses, awesome salads, “cast iron corn bread,” raised-right-around-here oysters, lobster and swordfish, and a “heritage pork plate.”

If you’re really inspired, you can go tonight.  A special Christmas Eve menu includes stuffed leg of lamb with rosemary potatoes and pan jus, and seared duck breast with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, brussels sprouts and an orange jus.

Tell ’em Maria sent you.

10 responses to “Maria Says: Dressing Room Is #1

  1. Please don’ tell me she really used the “word” yummiful.

  2. I have to agree with Maria on the Dressing Room, but her other two local mentions…..hmmmm… different strokes for different folks.

  3. Terry Brannigan

    Merry Christmas 06880! As a long time Westporter, who probably eats out more than we should, we love the Dressing Room. Great food is table stakes for any restaurant, what I love about the place is they greet us and call us by name. At the risk of getting someone in trouble, they even buy us a drink now and then and genuinely show their gratitude for your business. The other joints in town could learn a lot from watching how the Dressing Room treats their guests. It’s especially nice in the winter when, unfortunately for the restaurant, therer is no pre/post show, the place is warm and you will get to know the owner and staff personally. My only request would be that they take the sports off the TV in the Bar and go back to Butch Cassidy.

  4. Don’t forget to stop by on Friday nights for some great music and song. But don’t bother checking their web site to see what’s happening–it hasn’t been updated in eons!

    And those oysters really are fabulous.

  5. The Boat House at the Saugatuck Rowing Club is another great restaurant in our tonw. You DO NOT have to be a member to enjoy Chef John’s outstanding menu. He formerly worked at The Dressing Room before starting this venture. It is a food experience not to be missed.

    • The Dude Abides

      Dan: Sorry but was there the other night. Limited menu and food was cold. Dessert was ice cream on a dry muffin. Soup was good. Should have stopped there. 1 falling star.

  6. Larry Perlstein

    Friday nights alternate with the house band “House Dressing” and Melissa Newman … it’s great fun. I love the food there but I’m not thrilled with the small plates menu. Portion size is problematic.

    My favs on the farm to table circuit on Le Farm, Fat Cat Pie Company and Dressing Room. All great places!

  7. Well as long as Dan is mentioning great Westport restaurants, not necessarily new, but ofttimes overlooked, Finalmente Trattoria and Manolo are both fabulous. Manolo’s new bar and daily changing menu are outstanding. The Trattoria’s terrific food combined with father and son Andrea and Sal make for a restaurant that you will return to often.

    And don’t don’t forget Via Sforza for wonderful family friendly food and the absolute best wood burning oven pizza anywhere ,including 98% of Italy. The Sforza family (and it is HUGE) are molto, molto simpatico, sempre.

    As to Le Farm; Were it called The Farm (English) or LA Ferme (Francais) we would certainly give it a fair shot. But until you demonstrate a working knowledge of some language or other, any language would be okay, I just don’t trust you to know how to cook. Sorry.

    • Le Farm is obviously a play on words….it’s not french or english. it’s a just a name. Justfine…go to Le Farm because it has by far the best food in Westport

  8. Mario’s!